Lee Swanson, President of Swanson Health Products®
Dr. Fumiki Aoki, Senior Scientist at Kaneka Nutrients L.P., Houston, Texas
Dear Friends and Valued Customers,
It is with great pleasure that I introduce Dr. Fumiki Aoki, one of the primary scientists behind Glavonoid,™ the advanced Asian licorice extract in our new Licorice Flavonoid Oil. Dr. Aoki is a Senior Scientist at Kaneka Nutrients L.P. and was a lead researcher on Glavonoid from concept development through clinical efficacy studies. In this exclusive Swanson® interview, Dr. Aoki shares his firsthand experience with this remarkable nutraceutical and explains how it can help us face the challenges of metabolic health and weight maintenance so pervasive in today's society.
Dr. Aoki: Glavonoid is an ingredient that has been clinically shown to reduce body fat, especially visceral fat. It is a concentrated flavonoid extract from a specific Asian licorice root. However, Glavonoid is completely different from conventional licorice-based supplements. There are three major differences from conventional licorice: First, the species—we use the Asian licorice glabra species to make Glavonoid, which has a high concentration of certain polyphenols, including Glabridin. Second, the composition—to concentrate the polyphenol we use a patented double-extraction method, which increases potency and minimizes impurities. Third, the extraction method—Glavonoid is a lipid (oil) extraction. All of the other licorice extracts on the market today are aqueous (water) extracts.
Dr. Aoki: Yes, that's right. The polyphenols (flavonoids) found in this Asian species of licorice display unique biological activity. There are over 80 polyphenols in the Glavonoid complex. We've identified Glabridin, the most abundant polyphenol, as being central to the beneficial potential of licorice extracts, which is why we use only the "glabra" species. Glabridin is found only in this species of licorice and it's by far the most widely researched and documented active licorice flavonoid. We standardize Glavonoid to a specific level of Glabridin to optimize the fat-burning potential.
Dr. Aoki: Not exactly in the manner one usually associates with that term. Based on our research, we believe the mechanism of action to be activation of fat burning and suppression of fat synthesis in the body. Let me explain:
There are many published animal studies for Glavonoid that show benefits for managing visceral fat, maintaining healthy blood glucose, and on the pharmacokinetics of glabridin. The first studies used obesity model mice or rats, which are known to represent obesity in humans. In these studies, Glavonoid ingestion was confirmed to improve both gene expression and enzymatic activity for fat burning and for the prevention of fat synthesis in the liver. One study used DNA micro array technology, which can analyze what kind of genes Glavonoid ingestion changes in the body. The analysis showed that taking Glavonoid improved gene expression of fat burning and fat synthesis related enzymes in the body.
Dr. Aoki: To an extent, yes, that is true. Glavonoid is what some call a "nutrigenomic" supplement. Nutrigenomics refers to the study of how nutrients interact with our genes. It's a fascinating field that has seen growing interest in recent years, and Glavonoid is one of the first supplements proven to work on these principles. Many nutritional scientists believe nutrigenomics will lead us into a new future in which we are truly able to understand and optimize the power of nutrition for health and wellness.
Many people are predisposed to carrying weight in the form of visceral fat, which tends to accumulate in the mid-section. By signaling the expression of genes that control this storage mechanism, it appears Glavonoid can positively influence fat metabolism and discourage the accumulation of visceral fat.
Dr. Aoki: Of course. There are two primary types of fat: subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. Subcutaneous fat, or "good fat," is located just underneath the skin; while visceral fat, or "bad fat," is located beneath the muscles and surrounds the vital organs, particularly in the mid-section, like the intestines, kidneys, liver, etc… The major difference is that visceral fat has higher endocrine activity, with increased secretions of hormone-like components that negatively impact insulin function and blood sugar, triglyceride levels and even circulation. Therefore, excess visceral fat accumulation in the belly is a major concern not just for weight and appearance but for overall health. It is also reported that waist circumference explains weight-related health risks better than the body mass index (BMI). So for your health, paying attention to visceral fat is more important than just watching body weight.
Dr. Aoki: We have conducted human clinical studies both in Japan and the United States, demonstrating both the safety and benefits of the Glavonoid complex as well as the pharmacokinetics of the primary active polyphenol, Glabridin itself.
There are 2 notable clinical studies for efficacy. In a Japanese study, 81 subjects with BMI of 25–30, which is considered obese, were given 100 mg to 300 mg of Glavonoid for 8 weeks. The highest efficacy was confirmed in the 300 mg/day (100 mg/3X daily) group. Glavonoid decreased visceral fat, total fat and body weight. In addition, we also observed beneficial effects on total and LDL cholesterol.
A study we conducted in the U.S. with 106 subjects also produced remarkable results and confirmed what was observed in previous research. This study has yet to be published, so I cannot speak about the specific results, but we expect it will be published this year and the information will be available at that time. Based on these results of all our research, we conclude that 300 mg/day of Glavonoid is the effective dose for managing visceral and total fat mass.
For safety, we did clinical safety studies using doses of up to 600 mg/day of Glavonoid for 4 weeks. No adverse effects were observed in the series of safety studies using twice the recommended dosage. We recommend three 100 mg capsules/day, one with each meal, because absorption is better following a meal.
It's important to note that while managing visceral fat is important for maintaining good health, reducing it doesn't necessarily translate into losing inches from your waist. Research shows that even a 10 percent reduction of visceral fat can positively impact a variety of health parameters; but 10 percent of 10 pounds is really only one pound. While losing that one pound of visceral fat can be significantly beneficial for overall health, it's not going to show up in the form of a tighter belt or a smaller pair of jeans.
Dr. Aoki: It is my pleasure. We at Kaneka believe very strongly in Glavonoid and we're confident it can help people address that stubborn visceral fat and not only look better, but feel better and live healthier lives.